Here’s What Product Teams Most Often Overlook, According to the Engineers of Devetry
“In your opinion, what do teams most often overlook when it comes to creating a digital product?”
For this post, we presented this question to members of different product development teams within Devetry. Here are their unfiltered answers to help your team, whether you’re building out an MVP or fixing a legacy product.
Post MVP Considerations
“Considerations for how requirements could change. MVPs are easier to scope and plan, and it is difficult to predict how requirements might change in the future. But so often, product teams end up (some years down the line) needing to do “less than ideal” solves to create new features. Some of this is the normal product development cycle, but there should always be at least some consideration for how requirements may change in the future.”
– Adrian L
“Folks tend to overlook the amount of time and effort it takes to go from an MVP to a fully fleshed-out product. They don’t realize how frequently they need to use something, pull on the strings, and prod at it, before figuring out all the imperfections that, if fixed, can make it awesome.
“You should expect to spend at least about 40% of your time on QAQC as well as iteration and modification of the initial product. A common misconception about software is that it is ready on initial release, but that neglects the sheer number of factors that go into making something a successful and user-friendly product. When planning out the creation of a new application, it is essential to take into account the amount of time to find the many pieces that will need to be fixed or improved.”
– Aaron W
Trust Your Audience
“Often, product managers want to make sure everything is perfect before a user sees something, but that delay doesn’t get users into the product. Obviously, you don’t want to put out a poorly-thought-out first version of your product, but if you have the advantage to test early and often (with real users), you’ll find the right solution faster.
“When building a product, create a foundation where testing is integrated. Small, successful releases and iterations lead to a better product in the end.”
– Taylor L
User Needs Do Not Equal Technology
“Sometimes product teams have a lack of understanding of user needs. The feedback/iteration cycle is not there. ‘Throw more technology at it’ cannot solve your problem if you don’t know your user’s core needs.”
– Ted S
Multiple Users? You Need Strategic Improvements
“I occasionally run into teams that don’t have internal conversations with all potential tech users.
“As an example, one branch might use technology in a certain way, so they want data to be displayed as a table. Another branch might want data to be a drag-and-drop interactive widget. Many times, one person has a vision for product improvement, but it hasn’t been vetted by all the different parties.”
– Ben F
Solving the Underlying Problem
“What’s most often overlooked is the actual problem that you’re trying to solve.” Maybe customers have a workflow that doesn’t quite work, so they start imagining a product to improve it rather than imagining what they need to solve the problem. Identifying what you need doesn’t require technical expertise, though. If anything, thinking about the problem technically limits your vision of what you actually want to happen, and once you get a vision in your head, it’s hard to deviate.
“Always ask yourself, “What do users think about what we’re building? Is it actually better for them, or just new (with its own set of problems)?”
“Don’t get married to any particular feature.”
– Adam P
Desktop vs. Mobile vs. Tablet
“Something that’s often overlooked is the vast difference between users interacting with products on a desktop vs. mobile or tablet. All three displays have limitations, so if you make the core feature of your product only accessible on one out of three screen sizes, you may be investing in something your users may never see.”
– Adam C
“Product teams often miscalculate QA time. Things aren’t usually perfect the first go around, and it’s difficult to find meeting times with all stakeholders.”
– Stephanie B
Ongoing Resource Management
“The main thing product teams overlook is the resources needed to maintain their product for the long haul. Getting all the things in place to consistently iterate on a product takes a lot – resources for testing, DevOps, QA, design/UX, and more. These are all needed for a product to not collapse under its own weight.”
– Kyle M
To summarize, creating a successful digital product requires planning, iterating, testing, and above all else: listening to user needs. If you fail to do any one of these things, your product won’t realize its full potential.
If you think your product team has some holes in it, contact the team at Devetry. Our product, development, and design experts can find your biggest opportunities and execute whatever’s necessary to accelerate your product!